Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Welcome to the Neighborhood

I have lived in all sorts of neighborhoods in my day, but the one that I currently live in with David is sort of odd, to say the least. First of all, it is in between all of the defineable neighborhoods in Seattle - not really Capitol Hill, not really First Hill, not really Central, either. Every day, I catch a bus that is about 5 blocks away from where we live and down a big hill. But the corner where the bus comes is a little creepy. An Ethiopian immigrant who owned a Cheese Steak restaurant was shot there a couple of months ago. There are many, many police interactions with the fine citizens of Seattle there.

Two days ago, after getting off the bus, I began my hike up the hill to our apartment. This older lady in a wheelchair stopped me.

"You walkin' up the hill?" She inquired.

"Yes..." I said unsteadily, not sure what this interaction was all about.

"Can you push me to that store up there?" She asked.

"Um, sure," I replied, although I had a particularly heavy backpack on that day. A part of me felt like this spectacular person in that moment, for being willing to do such a good deed.

I started pushing her up the hill. She was in what had to be the single heaviest wheelchair in the known universe. I literally had to use the entire force of my body to push her up the hill. This was compounded with the fact that the odor extending from the wheelchair was a combination of alcohol and urine, and I was trying to avoid inhaling too deeply from the fear of passing out from the stench.

As I started pushing her up the hill, I started to have all of these second thoughts. After all, I worked in the Bronx as a prosecutor. What if this was some kind of set-up, and someone was going to come and rob me now that I was occupied so completely with this task of pushing this lady up the hill? I was the perfect target. They could come, grab my handbag, make a breakaway, and I couldn't do anything, because I couldn't let go of the wheelchair because the old lady would go rolling down the hill.

With this sense of self-preservation, I started pushing the wheelchair as quickly as I could.

"Watch them bumps now!" The woman in the wheelchair screamed at me.

I was thinking to myself, what on earth? Here I am, out of breath, pushing your 500 pound wheelchair up the hill, possibly being set up to be a victim of a crime, and you have the audacity to tell me to watch the bumps that are the fault of the do-nothing to fix roads and sidewalks city of Seattle. Is that what I am hearing?

I tried to compose myself. "Ma'am, I can't fix the sidewalks. I am sorry that it is so bumpy."

The woman softened in tone. She started rambling on incoherently about people in the neighborhood and "when that white lady moved in," and I voluntereed "Oh really?" and "How interesting" every now and again, just to avoid being thought of as rude.

We made it to the store, a corner convenience store.

"Well, we are at the store, now." I said, leaving the wheelchair parked right outside. I was relieved that I could finally leave her and sprint the remaining three blocks up the hill to my apartment.

The woman clicked her tongue at me. "Can't you push me into the store?" She asked.

"Fine," I said, less than generous at this point in time (so much for my illusions about being a remarkable person).

I took the wheelchair and started pushing it over the threshhold bump that was the entry way to the store. Her wheelchair wouldn't budge. I tried repeatedly, more and more frustration building with each try. Finally, with a force that can only be described as an out of body, freak of nature experience, I literally lifted the wheelchair to force it over the bump.

"Have a nice day," I said, and turned and ran away before the lady could respond.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wedding Statistics and Facts: In Brief

Now, since I am so far behind in my blog due to a crunch of schoolwork that I found myself inadequately prepared to deal with, I can only be brief in my wedding day recitations.

Date: March 28, 2008

Ceremony Location: Orlando, Florida Temple, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Temperature: 75 degrees Farenheit

Officiant: James White (David's maternal grandfather)
Attending: our families and many close friends

Mood after the ceremony: Joyful (see below)

# of Bride's Sister's Attending: 2

Wedding Bouquet: Ivory Hydrangeas with Moss Green Swarovski Crystals

Dress: Bellissima Bridal

David's Suit Designer: Paul Smith

Post Wedding Lunch for the Bride and Groom: Chick-fil-A

Reception Location: Disney's Yacht Club Resort, Disney World, Florida

Assisting the Bride in Getting Ready at the Yacht Club: Danielle Hartfield, Melissa Street

Wedding Photographer: Fred Burher (Uncle Fred)

Pre-Reception Time: 5:30-6:30

Wedding Coordinator Extraordinare: Jennifer O'Leary Hors D'ourves: Crudites selection, Seafood Fritters, Bacon-wrapped something or other (and Assorted Beverages of the non-alcoholic variety)Table Decorations: Calla Lilies

Number of Friends attending with whom I traveled to Africa: One

Reception Time: 6:30-10:30 pm
Parents of the Bride: Joseph and Marjorie Street

Parents of the Groom: Alan and Linda James

Song played as the Bride and Groom's entrance was announced: This Time Tomorrow, The Kinks

First Dance Song: The Luckiest, Ben Folds

Number of Guest Tables: 8

Names of Guest Tables: Simba, Baloo, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Mowgli, Eeyore, Tigger, King Louie

Reason we picked these names: I liked the pictures of these characters for our chocolate place cards. Disney animal movies are the best. We were staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Pick any of the above reasons.

Table where Sarah and Melissa sat: Mowgli

Reason they sat at Mowgli: They enjoy watching him in Disney parades

Centerpieces: alternating triple vases of ivory tulips, calla lilies, or hydrangeas (with hydrangea blossoms and votives spread out on table)

Tablecloths: Chocolate Brown Organza

Chair Covers: Ivory cotton, with Moss Crushed Velvet Bows

Toast Offered by: Sarah Street (also by Leslie and David as well)

Mushroom Filled Pasta, Vegetable Sherry Broath, Leeks, Red Peppers and Gruyere, with Shittake Mushrooms

Pan Seared Crab Cake in a Lemon Caper Cream Sauce on a bed of fanned Cucumbers

Mixed Garden Grersens with Beets, Carrots, Curs, Petite Tomatoes, New England Stilton Cheese with Basil Vinagrette

Cinderella's Ice Slipper with Rasberry Champagne Sorbet

Seared Beef Filet with Grilled Chicken in Blackberry Demi, Cous Cous with Veggies

Cinderella's White Chocolate Slipper with Chocolate Mousse, Cream, and Rasberries on a Castle Screen Print Plate

Father/Daughter Dance: "Teach Your Children", Crosby, Stills and Nash

Cake Flavors: Bottom Layer - Almond Cake with Ameretto Filling; Middle Layer - Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Filling; Top Level -Marble Cake with White Chocolate Filling

Consensus about the Cake: Delicious!

Entertainment: Charicature Artists and so much dancing!

Bouquet Recipient: Sarah Street

Last Dance: "Do You Realize?" The Flaming Lips

Big Finale: Confetti Canon

Summary of the Day: BEST DAY EVER!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lessons Learned

Do not post your obscene political rantings on your publically accessible blog. This is an important lesson that I have learned today.

People whose opinions just might matter to you might read said political rantings and think that you are some kind of irrational extremist. This is most certainly not a good thing.

I will, however, post my wedding pictures once I have a complete set of them ready.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Thursday 3.26: Friends and Family Day

Much fun was to be had on Thursday, my last day as a single woman. And so, to start the day, my family, David and I headed over to the Animal Kingdom for my favorite attraction at Disney World - Kilimanjaro Safaris. After all, this is a ride that guarantees that I will see more rhinos than I saw on my actual safari on the Serengeti plain. The ride didn't disappoint - we saw a black rhino almost immediately.

I also love spotting my favorite African trees - the baobabs. Salut le Petit Prince.

Here is a view of Disney's Serengeti plain. It isn't a bad rendition, if I say so myself.

Melissa and Dad decided that they wanted to stay dry, but the rest of us braved Kali River Rapids.

We headed over to Dinoland U.S.A. for a rendevous with the Jurassic Period. We first attacked the kiddie Dinosaur ride.

With that conquered, we thought we were tough enough to tackle the real Dinosaur ride.

Mom and Dad are still looking tough...

My courage, however, is starting to waiver when I get a load of that "terrible lizard."

Having survived our up close encounter with Dinosaurs, we feel tough enough to meet another terrifying beast - the Yeti. The "Himalayas" behind us are our destination.

After the morning's animal encounters, we headed over to meet Danielle, Trin, Carson, Noah, and Conner at the Magic Kingdom. Can I just say that my cousin has the most fantastic children? They have so much charisma and are just so much fun. Disney World accompanied by three very curious children is even more fantastic.

Here is Noah, patiently waiting in the Splash Mountain line proudly wearing the Mickey stickers.

Here is Trin giving some gentle parental reminders to a captive Carson and a wayward Noah.

Unfortunately for us, we couldn't spend the rest of the evening there. We had to get gussied up for our dinner plans. Here is a cute shot of Melissa on the monorail.

Back at the French Quarter, Melissa gave in to a bag of Cheetos. But it is okay. Melissa and I both saw a picture in US Weekly of Angelina Jolie giving her kids some Cheetos on a walk through the French Quarter. Here is Melissa as Maddox or Zahara:

That night, I had planned a dinner at the restaurant "Jiko", located at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with some of my friends who had made the trip to Florida. I was excited to taste Disney's take on South African fare.

The dinner was also scheduled at the same time as Carolina's Sweet Sixteen game. This means that although Sarah came to the dinner, she was absent during picture taking sessions, because she was checking on the score of the game. Fortunately, Carolina won pretty easily.

Here we are enjoying some appetizers.

Fantastic Katie Davidson Laughman with her also fantastic husband Chris Laughman, who came down from Boston:

Our oldest friends, Rebekah and Richelle Messer, with Melissa:

My friend with whom I shared the real Africa, Suzanne Culter with her husband, Drew:

Three brilliant minds. Carolynn Clark, Brigham Bowen, Jennie Dalton Bowen:

It was a great dinner with great friends. Not a bad way to spend my last single night.